Open Mosque Day welcomes community

On Oct. 6, the Islamic Center of Conejo Valley held their ninth annual Open Mosque Day, a day to celebrate and explore their faith with guided tours, free exhibits, midday prayers and a brief talk and Q&A. 

Shadi Ghafari, sophomore, has been attending Open Mosque since first grade. “My mom was the one in charge of the event so I helped and pitched in when she needed help,” Ghafari said. “I helped set up the chairs in the prayer hall, got the tables upstairs for the decorations, cleaned up some of the classrooms, got the goody bags together and I helped the front table.” 

Compared to last year, the Open Mosque Day has seen a decline in numbers. “A total of 170 people came which sounds like a lot but it’s the lowest we have had. When the presidential election was going on, we got almost 500 because of all the drama of the candidates, so they wanted to see what we had to say and what our religion was all about,” Ghafari said.

Sera Mohammed, junior, also helped out during Open Mosque Day with the tours. “I think this year really opened up people’s minds and allowed them to see different perspectives to seeing Islam other than what they see online and on social media. I think Open Mosque Day successfully erases the incorrect perceptions people have of the religion,” Mohammed said.

During the event, there were several presentations and booths, which were set up with the help of Sara Hamza, sophomore. “I helped set up a lot of the booths and presentations that were held upstairs,” Hamza said. “(There were several booths) such as the hijab booth, Islamic art (which included) calligraphy, beautification of the verses of the Quean and famous Islamic role models and successful people,” Hamza said.

“We aren’t trying to get people to be Muslims or anything, which people have thought before; we simply want to teach our community more about our religion just as a school would teach,” Hamza said.

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